By Greg Ford
It was a medal-winning weekend for Plano East at the 2015 state meet, as one silver and two bronzes were brought home from the University of Texas’s Mike Myers Stadium.
Senior Chris Ntreh earned the former with an excellent run (10.40) in the Class 6A boys’ 100 meters, with only state champion Devin Duvernay of Sachse (10.27) crossing the finish line before him. Ntreh’s 2015 time was .05 seconds better than a year ago, when he captured third at state in the 100.
The bronze medals were earned by senior Michael Madu in the 6A boys’ triple jump (48-00.50) and the girls’ 1,600 relay team (3:49.51), the latter of which earned a place on the medal stand when anchor-leg runner Allison Compass passed the Fort Bend Hightower runner ahead of her right before the finish line.
“It couldn’t have been a better finish for us,” said girls’ head coach Chris Lillie.
The other three East relay runners were Madison Compass, Stevi Kincade and Amarachi Ngwakwe.
“The hardest thing was controlling your nerves,” Ngwakwe said of the state experience, “and not (letting the situation) get in your head so much.”
Converse Judson won the 1,600 relay (3:46.56), with Houston Cypress Springs (3:48.88) taking second and Hightower (3:49.78).
Madu earned his third-place finish despite fouling on his first two attempts, as well as his fifth. It was on his sixth and final attempt that Madu hit his mark for the medal-winning leap. Prior to that, Madu leaped 47-03.25 and 46-10.25 on his third and fourth jumps, respectively.
Galena Park North Shore’s Kerwin Roach (50-06.25) won the triple jump, with his title-clinching leap coming on his third attempt.
Madison Compass fell just short of earning a medal, as she finished fourth in the girls’ 6A 800 meters (2:12.50). McKinney Boyd junior Aaliyah Miller grabbed first with a time of 2:08.94, followed by Highland Park’s Gabby Crank (2:10.60) and Katy’s Christie Terhune (2:11.41).
Another field event participant, Jackerria Hughes, took eighth (17.06.25) in the girls’ 6A long jump, with her best leap coming on the last attempt. Samiyah Samuels of Houston Cypress Springs (20-07.75) easily took first in the event, finishing well ahead of second- and third-place finishers, LC Clear Springs’ Thai Williams (19-10) and Harlingen South’s Cierra Pena (19-08).
“Honestly, I was a little disappointed with my performance,” Hughes said, “but I fell fortunate to perform at state as a junior.”
She added, “My mark was fine, but the thing was that while I was running I gained speed and that unfortunately prevented me from having an accurate jump and kept me (fouling). I guess what I learned is that state is another level, and I need to be mentally prepared.”